June 2013 Night Photography Events Calendar

Each month I post a monthly night photography events calendar on the first day of the month. Events listed on the calendar are suitable for wide-field and moderate-telephoto astrophotography using DSLR cameras, as well as for general night photography. The calendar does not include events or subjects that are more suited to telescopes or extreme telephoto lenses. Unless otherwise stated, all events occur in the United States at mid-latitudes. Most of the events also occur at other locations, although some of them may require correction for latitude and longitude.

If you sign up for my free Night Photography News eNewsletter, you’ll receive each calendar two weeks early, on the 15th of the preceeding month. This will give you more time to plan your night shooting.

All month Mars rises in the northeast shortly before the Sun in early June and about 75 minutes before the sun by month’s end. However, the planet is very dim and will not be suitable for wide-field photography, if it is even visible.  
All month Saturn is high in the southern sky after sunset and is a good target for telescopes and binoculars throughout the night. However, it is not ideal as an accenting element in a wide-field composition.  
All month For much of the eastern U.S., June is the peak flashing period for many species of firefly, although many fireflies are active during July and August as well. For western North Carolina, the first half of June is probably the best time during the year to photograph fireflies.
All month Venus shines low in the dusk sky in the west-northwest. It is a little dimmer than normal (magnitude -3.8), but still brighter than any other planet or star. It will make a great complement to a twilight landscape scene.
All month Mercury hangs out closely with Venus in the dusk sky in the west-northwest for most of June. It is much fainter, at only magnitude -0.4 at the start of the month and it fades each night afterward. The planet is slightly above and left of Venus during the first half of June and then it moves down below Venus for the second half.
First week Jupiter (magnitude -1.9) shines very low on the west-northwest horizon at dusk. On the first few days of the month, the planet appears very close to Venus and Mercury, but it soon becomes invisible as it sinks toward to the Sun.
5 The crescent moon shines in the morning twilight sky, looking east-northeast.
6 The thin crescent moon shines in the morning twilight sky, looking east-northeast.
7 A very thin and faint crescent moon shines low on the horizon in the morning twilight sky, looking east-northeast. The moon may not be visible with the naked eye. 
8 New moon at 11:57am.  Don’t forget, the best time to shoot the stars (either as pinpoints or star trails) is when there is no light pollution from the moon.
9 A very thin and faint crescent moon lies below and very close to Venus in the dusk twilight sky, looking west-northwest. The moon may not be visible with the naked eye. 
10 A very thin crescent moon lies to the left of Venus in the dusk twilight sky, looking west-northwest.
11 The thin crescent moon lies to the upper left of Venus in the dusk twilight sky, looking west-northwest.
16 First quarter moon at 1:24pm.
21 Summer solstice begins at 1:04am. The night of June 20/21 is the shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
23 Full moon at 7:33am. The full moon coincides with perigee, which is the closest the moon gets to Earth during the year. This makes June’s full moon a so-called “Super Moon.” However, it may not appear any larger  to the average viewer, and despite claims from some astrologers, it will not cause any catastrophic events. Don’t forget, in addition to including the full moon as a complement to a landscape or urban scene, you can use the light from the full (or nearly full) moon to illuminate your scene.
30 Third quarter moon at 12:54am.
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